Skip to Content

Injectable Contraception


Injectable contraception is birth control medicine that is given as a shot. This medicine helps prevent pregnancy.


Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Use injectable contraception as directed:

Your primary healthcare provider will tell you when you can start injectable contraception. You may need to use a different method of contraception until the shots take effect. You may need blood or urine tests before you start this medicine. You may use this method in any of the following situations:

  • During your menstrual cycle: If you have regular menstrual cycles, you may get your first shot within 7 days after your cycle starts. Those with irregular bleeding or no periods may have the shot any time.

  • When you switch methods of contraception: You may need added protection when you switch from one method of contraception to another.

  • After you give birth: If you are breastfeeding, the first shot is given between 6 weeks and 6 months after you give birth. If you are not breastfeeding, you may have the shot any time.


  • Do not smoke: If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. You are more likely to have a blood clot, heart disease, lung disease, and cancer if you smoke. You will improve your health and the health of those around you if you quit. If you smoke, ask for information about how to stop.

  • Increase your daily intake of calcium: This will make your bones stronger and help prevent fractures. Foods rich in calcium include milk, yogurt, and cheese.

  • Exercise regularly: This will build bone and muscle strength and help prevent fractures. Ask your primary healthcare provider about exercises that are right for you.

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • Your period lasts longer than is normal for you.

  • You do not get a period.

  • You have questions or concerns about injectable contraceptives.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have heavy vaginal bleeding.

  • You had unprotected sex before you have your shots.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.